Symposium on explanations and social ontology 2: Explanatory ecumenism and economics imperialism

Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):235-257 (2002)

Authors
Uskali Mäki
University of Helsinki
Abstract
In a series of insightful publications, Philip Pettit and Frank Jackson have argued for an explanatory ecumenism that is designed to justify a variety of types of social scientific explanation of different , including structural and rational choice explanations. Their arguments are put in terms of different kinds of explanatory information; the distinction between causal efficacy, causal relevance and explanatory relevance within their program model of explanation; and virtual reality and resilience explanation. The arguments are here assessed from the point of view of the illumination they are able to cast on the issue of economics imperialism, the project of privileging rational choice as a unifying basis for explanations. While the Jackson–Pettit arguments turn out to be helpful in specifying some of the ontological and pragmatic constraints on economics imperialism, they are also shown to conflate distinct dimensions in the purported explanantia (such as small grain and particular grain, and the macro and the existentially quantified) and thereby to miss an important class of individualist causal process explanations of social phenomena
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DOI 10.1017/s0266267102002031
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References found in this work BETA

Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Causality and Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
What is a Law of Nature?David Armstrong - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (3):435-441.

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Citations of this work BETA

Economics Imperialism: Concept and Constraints.Uskali Mäki - 2009 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (3):351-380.
Scientific Imperialism: Difficulties in Definition, Identification, and Assessment.Uskali Mäki - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):325-339.

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